I’d like to start by thanking the 2017 graduating Hodags for nominating me for the Kevin Crowley Spirit Award as well as the Hodag alumni for all their everlasting support. It’s surreal to think about where I am as an ultimate frisbee player having grown up in Madison and practicing on the same field as the Hodags as a high school student. I can still remember Tuesday and Thursday practices with Madison West, running around UBay on our warm-up lap and being intimidated by all the Hodags throwing around. Fast forward four years and here I am as a senior captain on the Hodags accepting this honor.
The beginning of my Hodag career was riddled with injuries, but it was through these injuries that I began learning about what “Hodag love” was. As a freshman, I dislocated my left shoulder during warm-ups of one of our first practices as a newly formed team. Shane Saddison- Bradford accompanied me to the hospital and helped me keep my mind off my shoulder. Following the hospital visit, Avery Johnson picked us up and treated me to dinner. This injury was followed by several more shoulder dislocations, a broken eye socket, and some freak allergic reactions that took me out of practice. But these instances never failed to show me how much of a family the Hodags really are. The flurry of GroupMe messages and reassurance act as constant reminders that there are 20+ other guys that have my back regardless of situation.
The Hodags have been an immense influence on the person I am today; they have molded me into a person and athlete worthy of being nominated for this award. As I enter my last year as a Hodag, I will continue to embody the ideals of the Kevin Crowley Spirit Award: playing fair, playing hard, and playing with little regard to the well-being of my body.